Andrew Sobel, a New York City-based consultant and author who specializes in building client relationships, believes that asking a series of "power questions" will enhance your existing relationship and strengthen it for the future. "Power questions shift the conversation to the other person, as opposed to you just talking about your products and services," says Sobel, co-author with Jerold Panas of Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business and Influence Others.
Here are three such queries to get your next client conversation started.
- What have we done recently that you found particularly valuable?
- Can you give me suggestions for improving communication with you and your organization?
- What are your three most important priorities for next year?
"All good relationships are based on the other person's priorities," Sobel says. "If I don't know those, I don't know how to help."
Christopher Hann is a freelance writer in Lebanon Township, N.J., and an adjunct professor of journalism at Rutgers University.